Transition to Bed
The Setback: Moving from crib to bed
When it was time for Samantha Batutis to move from her crib to her bed, she started to put up a fight, recalls her mother, Gail Shust, of Long Island City, New York. "Sam was very resistant," she recalls. To keep her daughter motivated, Shust created a one-month countdown calendar to "B" (as in bed) day. "Every time she slept in the bed, she got a sticker on the calendar, although she still sometimes napped in her crib." By the end of the month, Sam was happily sleeping each night in her new big-girl bed.
Your Good-Night Solutions
Set up a reward system. Shust had the right idea, says Breus. "Once the kids have new freedom, you have to keep them motivated to stay in bed." He notes that bribery was the best strategy for his son when he made the transition from crib to bed. "We picked out ten toy cars and told him that if he stayed in bed the whole night, he'd get a car. The next week he had to stay in bed for two nights in a row, then three, and so on, until he forgot about getting out of bed entirely."
Make sure your timing is right. If your child is sleeping happily through the night in his crib, don't feel like you need to rush the situation, notes Mindell. A crib tent can also prevent your tot from scaling the sides and keep him safe inside.
Alyssa Shaffer lives in New York City and is the mother of twins.